Essay Social Media and the Elderly

1535 Words Jan 21st, 2015 7 Pages
Social Media and the Elderly

Is The Use of Social Media Making The Elderly Better-Connected? Websites such as Facebook and Google+ are commonly referred to as social media. Social media are websites and internet-based applications which allow users to exchange content and messages with each other. Over the course of the past decade, social media has become more and more important. At the same time, in all developed countries and in many developing countries, the population has begun to age as both birth and death rates fall. There is much research which indicates that social media makes it easier to interact with other people, to find people with similar interests, and to keep in touch with those whom one already knows. However, there
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For instance, some studies have found that using Facebook increases weak social ties at the expense of stronger ties, while other studies have found that that does not occur. The studies which found no effect also found a relationship between the quality of in-person friendships and the use of instant messaging on social networking sites. Additionally, other differences were seen among users of social media. For instance, for those adopters of social networking who had high social circles, their number of friends increased faster than did the number of friends of those who had smaller social circles. Users of social networking sites were also less likely to ask their neighbors for help
Social Networking and Mental Health In Older Adults Up to this point, there have not been very many studies of how use of social networking effects the mental and emotional health of older adults. A number of studies have found that large circles of friends is strongly associated with increased cognitive performance in older adults, while depression is strongly connected to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Because of this, there is a good possibility that using social networking can stave off depression because it can give people a greater number of social contacts. There is also some evidence that the use of social networking can help older adults to improve their cognitive performance and overall quality of life. This is because social networking increases

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